Thoth’s space elevator: The idea spawned in a remote forest in Eastern Ontario
Thoth Technology Inc. – a Canada based company – was recently awarded a patent for an innovative space elevator and according to the CEO and CTO of the company it all started in a remote forest in Eastern Ontario.
Algonquin Radio Observatory is Canada’s largest fully-steerable parabolic reflector and one of the largest in the world capable of tracking everything from low orbit satellites to distant stars. The operations of the observatory have been completely taken over by Brendan Quine, Chief Technical Officer of Thoth, and his wife, Caroline Roberts, President and CEO of Thoth a small team.
Owing to the work involved Quine, Roberts and their kids spend a good part of their year at the Algonquin Park and this is where the idea about the space elevator struck says Quine to CTV Ottawa.
The solitude and the quietness of the park helped Quine come up with the idea for a space elevator. Part of the motivation for Quine was the natural beauty as well with the rest of it coming from the telescopes with which he and his team are working.
“It’s certainly conducive to having great ideas, to see all this natural beauty around you,” says Quine.” I also think that maybe working with these giant, one and a half thousand ton telescopes also makes you think big about projects.”
The space elevator concept for which Thoth has been granted a patent is basically a freestanding space tower that is pneumatically pressurized and actively-guided over its base. The elevator would reach 20 km above the planet would be used for wind-energy generation, communications and tourism.
Thoth claims that their technology offers an exciting new way to access space using completely reusable hardware and saving more than 30 per cent of the fuel of a conventional rocket.
“Astronauts would ascend to 20 km by electrical elevator. From the top of the tower, space planes will launch in a single stage to orbit, returning to the top of the tower for refueling and reflight,” said Quine.
Roberts, believes the space tower, coupled with self-landing rocket technologies being developed by others, will herald a new era of space transportation. “Landing on a barge at sea level is a great demonstration, but landing at 12 miles above sea level will make space flight more like taking a passenger jet”, she says.
With the patent in their hands, Thoth team is now looking for funding and partners who will help them convert the on-paper design into real-world space elevator.