The most obvious problem is the rate of consumption not inside the reactor vessel, but in the intake manifolds. Almost 15% of the viable H2 is being burned up before it even reaches the torus. Once there, the calculable rate of loss dictates that at most we are only going to see a 30% energy generation. There are two things we can do to create a higher energy yield, we can increase the H2 injection rate to 145% maximum, or we can stop using cheap intake couplings because the senator from the Great Lakes Republic wants to keep selling cut rate couples to the project under the guise of budget control. If we adopt vanadium/molybdenum couplings instead of aluminum powder coated with vanadium alloy we could see 70% energy generation. That is both enough to start secondary fusion in the torus, as well as move the project ahead of schedule by almost two years.
But don't listen to me, I'm sure your masters in business administration trumps my PhDs in psychics, metallurgy, and computer systems.
Dr. Stirling, 2nd Denver High Energy Summit
Doctor Adele Stirling
The Doctor was born to a very common Midwestern family in the Great Lakes Republic, where she grew up in the shadow of the Pontiac arcoplex. Her childhood was largely disinterested, and after high school, she attended OCP/Delta City University in Delta City on a full ride scholarship. She was a star pupil, quickly dispensing with the underclass work in less than a year and a half and had her first PhD, computer systems, by the time she was 21. She had the other two completed by 25 as well as a charm bracelet of bachelor's and a few masters degrees as well. She worked out her term with Omni Consumer Products in their cybernetics and electronics R&D department where she was heavily involved in reverse engineering Nova Robotics prototypes and creating new consumer conscious home androids. She also worked in developing several AISC, most notable the surprisingly humble 'Hecules' for Omni Robotics and the acerbic 'Ariadne' for the Delta City Arcoplex.
Stirling refused to renew her contracts with OCP and left the Great Lakes Republic to work with the Atlantic Federation High Energy Research Labs in the Rocky Mountain Republic. She has spent two decades working the labs there, and in that time has designed two more AISCs for the Federation, the enigmatic 'Locke' and the witty and jovial 'Dionysus'. Both of whom are involved with high energy research, the Federation Defense Initiative, and cybernetic research. She has also been a key player in developing the second generation of magnetohydrodynamic fusion reactors, also known as ARC reactors.
Her latest project has been the Cyclops system. Nominally an array of radio antenna, the Cyclops system can generate and focus intense levels of radio waves on a single target less than 30 feet across in orbit. While this is not accurate enough to pinpoint things like satellites or aerospace craft, it is more than adequate to target almost any ship in service with any space fleet. The Cyclops program is intended to be a point defense system for the planet, one by one targeting and destroying enemy ships with barrages of high energy beams. The actual system will use microwave transmitters in place of radio transmitters but the processes remain the same.
Stirling is an ardent pacifist and dislikes very much the notion of designing weapons. Her AISCs carry hidden pacifist code, giving military action the lowest priority (unless common sense and cost protocols dictate otherwise) and her energy generation technology has been given a very strong civilian use. Other scientists, lacking her ethical standing, have since done the work of weaponizing her inventions and advances in technology. The Stirling Template, a general use pattern for generating AI has been modified. The Burkehart is a carbon copy but instead of being pacifist and deep thinking, Burkehart AIs are belligerent and hostile. They also tend to be a tad unstable. Most of the Burkehart AIs are sequestered in either military think tanks, or serve as the systems controllers on Atlantic Federation spacecraft. Stirling has seen enough to know that 'Hades', the controlling AISC of the battleships AFS Great Britain, is a corrupted copy of 'Hercules'.
The Stranger Truth
Doctor Stirling is not a normal human. She is a product of the Federation Coordinator Program, a super genius designed in a lab. Her parents were both selected for their natural intelligence and genetic resilience. They both willingly donated genetic material and Adele was conceived in a laboratory. Her genetic make up was screened, and then extensively modified to create supernatural intelligence, but also limiting any sort of genetic abnormality or potential psychological issues that might erupt from it. Rather than being raised a lab rat, she was placed in the most ordinary of places to be given a very ordinary childhood. Her education was going to be covered by the AtFed budget, but when OCP swooped in to cover her education in exchange for a number of years of working for them, Stirling's parents and handlers agreed.
During her childhood, Stirling was routinely subjected to post hypnotic suggestion while asleep. Having such an intellect demanded special attention. It doesn't take a genius to make a pipe bomb, or turn a bullet train into a weapon. It was decided that making the subject extremely adverse to violence and war would make it very unlikely that she would turn on her creators if she learned her true nature and was displeased. This sort of accident was rather unfortunately common in the black ops parapsychic projects, such as Illiad (creating mental aspected parapsychics).
Stirling is now entirely aware of her past, her artificial creation, and forced pacifism. She created a secret AI, 'Cerridwen' is a psychologically minded machine that Stirling used to basically psychoanalyze herself, examining her thoughts and feelings upon discovering her psychological modifications and genetic alterations. She has since dealt with the issues and considers that her artificial pacifism is a good thing, considering the weapons she could produce. Now, knowing her 'programming' she exploits it, creating things that are almost impossible to weaponize, or weapons so specific that their use is almost a certain negative. The chances of the colonies going to war with the earth is minor, and in the event of such a thing, the Cyclops would save more lives on earth than it would end in orbit.
Contacts and Allies
Dr. Stirling is a busy woman and she has made many friends and contacts throughout the scientific and corporate community. Her most prominent ties are to several scientists and administrators at OCP and the Great Lakes Republic. She also has made friends and allies in the more progressive sections of the government and among the military leadership that favors diplomacy and negotiation before sending in the troops.
That being said, Dr. Stirling has made quite a few enemies as well. Her anti-war stance is very much at odds with the general warhawkishness of the Federation. Her opponents, high placed generals and admirals consider her almost an enemy sympathizer, and more than once she has been the subject of a military inquiry. Her work with Artificial Intelligence has made her a target of fundamentalists who oppose machine life, and sadly, more than one attempt has been made on her life. As a result of this, she seldom leaves her lab or guarded home in Colorado.
Rescue the Damsel in Distress: it is highly likely that there are terrorist organizations that would love nothing more than to capture Dr. Stirling and turn her intellect into assisting their efforts against the Federation, or whomever their enemies happen to be. The PCs are brought in to rescue the good doctor and bring her back safely. The Doctor can be a valuable aid in facilitating her own escape, crafting MacGuyver type devices and only needs a basic phone connection to get in contact with one of the AIs she's created.
Kidnap the Mad Scientist: Playing on the other side, the PCs are contracted/coerced/etc to kidnap Doctor Stirling and bring her to a secure location, where she can make repairs on a first generation AI and bring it up to operational capacity to help the desperately outnumbered and outgunned rebels.
The Cyclops Installation: It has been discovered that the worst is actually in progress and a hostile fleet is moving in on Earth. The PCs are tasked with reaching the Cyclops Installation, bringing Stirling with them, to activate the weapon system to destroy inbound warships before they can bombard surface targets.