Case 15209

Millimeter-Wave Heating, Radiometry, and Calorimetry of Granite Rock to Vaporization


Millimeter-wave (MMW), radiometry, calorimetry, high power gyrotron radiation, directed energy, real-time monitoring, rock vaporization


Quantitative studies can be performed in situ of the thermodynamic properties of materials to extreme high temperatures that would be of value for determining the directed energy penetration requirements into hard rock. The high temperature engineering limits of other refractory and structural materials could be studied.


The vaporization parameters of rocks, concretes, and refractory ceramics are not readily available.


This invention describes a procedure to carry out MMW studies of rock fusion and vaporization that is applicable to all refractory materials. This includes using MMWs to melt and vaporize rock and measuring the MMW emissivity of molten rocks, the dynamics of phase transitions, and the phase transition temperatures including vaporization.

  • High power MMW sources are more efficient, have higher average power relative to lasers and are lower cost.
  • MMW sources can be efficiently guided as a beam over long km distances compatible with borehole dimensions.
  • MMW sensors are highly sensitive and commercially available.

  • Dr. Paul Woskov (Plasma Science and Fusion Center, MIT)
  • Phil Michael (Plasma Science and Fusion Center, MIT)

Intellectual Property:

US Provisional Patent Application 61/548914 filed 10/19/2011


Woskov, Paul, and Phil Michael. "Millimeter-Wave Heating, Radiometry, and Calorimetry of Granite Rock to Vaporization." MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. MIT Energy Initiative, Oct. 2011. Web.

Last revised: February 17, 2012

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